Tom LaDuke, "Polyrhythmic Looping" (2014), acrylic and glitter on canvas over panel, 53 x 95 x 2 inches (via

Tom LaDuke, “Polyrhythmic Looping” (2014), acrylic and glitter on canvas over panel, 53 x 95 x 2 inches (via

LOS ANGELES — This week, there’s a talk on data-based feminist art, a walkthrough of the first retrospective of photographer Brian Weil, group shows inspired by Sartre and string theory, and more.

 In Search of an Exit

When: Opens Tuesday, April 7, 6–9pm
Where: Heritage Square Museum (3800 Homer Street, Montecito Heights, Los Angeles)

Three deceased characters in Sartre’s play No Exit find themselves trapped in a Second Empire room together for eternity, prompting the line oft-quoted by misanthropes, “Hell is other people.” The students in USC’s Art and Curatorial Practices in the Public Sphere MA program cite this classic existentialist work as inspiration for their curatorial thesis exhibition subtitled “Eight Characters in a Parlor.” Located at the Heritage Square Museum — a living museum offering a glimpse of 19th century SoCal — this group show features video, sound and performance by an international and inter-generational group of artists, including Barbara T. Smith, Kuwaiti-born Basma Alsharif, and Patricia Esquivias, who lives in Guadalajara and Madrid.

Still from a work by Jordi Colomer, featuring in “In Search of an Exit” (via facebook)

 Brian Weil Exhibition Walkthrough with Zackary Drucker

Brian Weil, “Transvestite Safe-Sex Outreach Worker, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic” (1987) (via

When: Tuesday, April 7, 7:30–8:30pm
Where: Santa Monica Museum of Art (Bergamot Station G1, 2525 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica, California)

The SMMoA’s current Brian Weil exhibition is the first retrospective of the work of the late photographer, who was able to capture an inside view of insular and marginalized groups through various series on crime, AIDS, and the Hasidism.

His final work on transgender transformation was left unfinished at the time of his death 1996. Zackary Drucker, who explores issues of gender and sexuality in her own work (and through her role as associate producer of hit TV show Transparent), will lead a walkthrough of the exhibition, bringing her own insights to bear on the work of this pioneering image-maker. The event is free, but since space is limited, RSVP to secure a spot.

 Data as Feminist Protest

When: Thursday, April 9, 7pm
Where: LACMA (5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)

The works of Micol Hebron and Annina Rüst refute the popular misconception that technology and science are just for the boys. With her ongoing Gallery Tally Project, Hebron updates the Guerrilla Girls’ gender investigations of the art world with eye-catching data visualizations. Rust’s “Piece of the Pie Chart” uses robotics to create literal charts on pies reflecting the gender gap in tech, which can then be tweeted or mailed to the institutions they describe. This Thursday, they discuss the role data plays in their work, and how it functions within the history of feminist protest in art.

 Tom LaDuke: Candles and Lasers

When: Opens Friday, April 10, 6–8pm
Where: Kohn Gallery (1227 North Highland Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles)

Utilizing a hodgepodge of painterly modes, from precise verisimilitude, to abstraction, and trompe l’oeil, Tom LaDuke’s paintings keep you guessing. His source material as well ranges from Renaissance to sci-fi, making perception and representation the subjects of his work more than anything else. For his first show at Kohn Gallery, Candles and Lasers, LaDuke will also present sculptures meticulously carved out of salt, graphite, and pewter.

 Diana Al-Hadid: Ground and Figures

Diana Al-Hadid, “Upon Reflection, Some Changes” (2015) (via

When: Opens Saturday, April 11, 7–10pm
Where: OHWOW Gallery (937 N. La Cienega Boulevard, Beverly Grove, Los Angeles)

Diana Al-Hadid is known for her heavily-worked sculptures and drawings that recall fantastical architectural visions.

For her first solo-exhibition at OHWOW, the Syrian-born artist presents large, architecturally based three-dimensional paintings made of fiberglass, steel, plaster, and gold that look like they’ve been run through an industrial shredder.

The centerpiece will be a 30-ft long wall inspired by the Piazza San Marco with apertures that visitors can move through.

The Elegant Universe (via

 The Elegant Universe

When: Opens Sunday, April 12, 4–7pm
Where: The Pit (918 Ruberta Ave, Glendale, California)

Curated by Gladys-Katherina Hernando, The Elegant Universe is a group show inspired by string theory and the notion of multiple dimensions. Four artists primarily working in sculpture — Olivia Booth, Rod Fahmian, Sonja Gerdes, and Nora Shields — explore transparency, energy, and theatricality to challenge a linear, narrative experience. To help viewers wrap their heads around the curatorial concept, a Risograph printed catalogue will be available for $15.

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Matt Stromberg

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, CARLA, Apollo, ARTNews, and other publications.